Colon Cancer

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Winning the Battle Against Colon Cancer

At Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA), colon and rectal cancer patients receive the very best care from the moment they begin treatment here. In fact, our doctors help define the national standards for colorectal cancer care.

Statistics Are Abstract; Lives Aren’t

Todd Lovern Todd Lovern was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer in November 2010. Today, after many months of intensive treatment, Todd is back to running marathons and raising money for cancer research. Read more about Todd.

If you do have cancer, where you choose to go for initial treatment has a significant impact on the likelihood of survival. And when colorectal cancers are found early, the survival rate is high. SCCA doctors specializing in colorectal cancer use all the latest treatments, as well as new therapies that may be available only in clinical studies. As you can see in the charts below, patients treated at SCCA have the highest five-year survival rate for stage I, stage III, and stage IV colon cancer.

Colon Cancer Survival Rates

Below are five-year survival rates for colon cancer patients treated by SCCA compared to patients who were treated for colon cancer elsewhere. This information was collected by the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) for patients who were diagnosed and treated between 2003 and 2006 and then followed for five years. We’re only showing survival rates for patients diagnosed with stage I, stage III, and stage IV colon cancer. There were not enough patients who were first diagnosed and treated at SCCA with stage 0 or stage II colon cancer to provide meaningful results.

Stage I Colon Cancer

stage I survival chart

  • SCCA patients are represented by the green line. Their five-year survival rate was 90 percent from the time they were first diagnosed by SCCA. Note that only patients who received all of their care from SCCA are included.
  • Patients from the other types of treatment centers—Community Cancer Centers, Comprehensive Community Cancer Centers, and Academic/Research Hospitals—are represented by the yellow line. Their five-year survival rate was 78 percent.

Stage III Colon Cancer

stage I survival chart

  • SCCA patients are represented by the green line. Their five-year survival rate was 75 percent from the time they were first diagnosed by SCCA. Note that only patients who received all of their care from SCCA are included.
  • Patients from the other types of treatment centers—Community Cancer Centers, Comprehensive Community Cancer Centers, and Academic/Research Hospitals—are represented by the yellow line. Their five-year survival rate was 56 percent.

Stage IV Colon Cancer

stage I survival chart

  • SCCA patients are represented by the green line. Their five-year survival rate was 26 percent from the time they were first diagnosed by SCCA. Note that only patients who received all of their care from SCCA are included.
  • Patients from the other types of treatment centers—Community Cancer Centers, Comprehensive Community Cancer Centers, and Academic/Research Hospitals—are represented by the yellow line. Their five-year survival rate was 10 percent.

The charts above include patients who were diagnosed between 2003 and 2006 and then followed for five years. The five-year observed survival rates are estimated using the actuarial method with one-month intervals. The endpoint is death from any cause (not cancer specific death); patients may have died from causes unrelated to their cancer. Calculations were performed using the NCDB Survival Reports software tool. Survival rates are not displayed when fewer than 30 cases are available, as survival rates calculated from small numbers of cases can yield misleading results and may have very wide confidence intervals.

The outcomes presented in the figures are not risk-adjusted. That is, the NCDB did not account for demographic differences (e.g., age at diagnosis, gender, socioeconomic status, and insurance status), prognostic factors, and comorbidities for SCCA and other hospitals. Also, the NCDB did not account for subjective differences in staging practices among hospitals. For example, it is possible that a cancer considered stage I at one hospital might be considered stage II at another hospital due to practice pattern variations. The outcomes comparisons presented here might have differed if the NCDB had accounted for such demographic and staging differences in our analyses.

The NCDB tracks the outcomes of 70 percent of all newly diagnosed cancer in the United States from more than 1,500 commission-accredited cancer programs. It has been collecting data from hospital cancer registries since 1989 and now has almost 30 million records.

Frequently Asked Questions

Data Collection Methodology